The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

LQ: 9.8

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Brain grade: 9.6
Fun score: 10

Game Type: ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 10+ Other Requirements: Wii Motion Plus / Wii Remote Plus Thinking Skills Used: , , Academic Skills Used:

Set in the soaring world of SkyLoft, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword follows the adventures of a young knight named Link, who must take to the skies on his Loftwing and sail down to the world below in search of the missing Princess Zelda. Using his trusty sword and an array of tools and gadgets Link must battle enemies, solve puzzles, and explore several dungeons in search of the missing princess.

The game uses “Wii Motion Plus” to deliver realistic swordplay, enabling 1:1 motion tracking, meaning Link will hold his sword however the Wii Remote is held, enabling the player to determine the angle and direction of each sword swing. Due to mild fantasy violence, moderate difficulty, and some required reading, the game is recommended to players ages 10 and up.


THIS GAME IS GOOD FOR KIDS WHO NEED HELP WITH:

Self-Control

The ability to control one's actions and manage emotions.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword's main gameplay mechanic is swordplay, which revolves around highly accurate motion controls that let the player directly control how Link uses his sword. Whichever way the player swings, Link will do the same. Enemies will try to block attacks from a certain angle, requiring smooth, precise attacks from the player. If the player becomes frustrated or panicky, his swings will become less accurate, making the game much harder to play. By controlling his emotions and keeping his actions smooth and controlled, the player will have a much easier time making it through this adventure.

Aside from sword play, the game also features a slew of motion controlled segments, such as soaring through the air on Link's "LoftWing" bird, shooting arrows and controlling Link's "Beetle," a gadget that can fly through the air to activate far off switches and collect distant items. All segments in the game require the player to use simple, yet controlled motions to operate, further instilling the need to make fluid movements and avoid becoming flustered.

Focus

Starting a task and maintaining attention and effort until it’s done.

When starting a battle with an enemy, the player must keep a close eye on how he positions himself. Enemies will try to block his attacks by positioning swords and shields above, below, or to the side of their body. The player must attack from the opposite side to inflict damage, requiring him to stay intently focused on enemies' positioning until they are defeated.

Dungeons -- the "stages" of the game -- also flex the player's focus skills. Each dungeon is filled with numerous environmental puzzles to solve, some of which can be quite challenging, requiring the player to stick to the task at hand until he figures out the solution and can move on. "Boss battles" -- the final enemy of each dungeon -- are a whole different story. These unique enemies require specific strategies to defeat, usually involving the item Link acquired in that specific dungeon. In order to decipher the correct strategy, the player has to pay close attention to the boss' body and movements in order to locate weak spots and opportunities to attack.

Furthermore, there are a slew of side-quests for players to complete apart from the main quest that reward the player with valuable treasure. They each have specific goals to complete, so players must persistently follow through until the side quest is complete, working through distractions presented by the game's overwhelming amount of content to explore.

Planning

Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.

There are a variety of shops for Link to peruse, enabling him to buy items to aid in his quests and upgrade his equipment. Therefore it is important for Link to stock up on important goods -- such as healing potions -- before heading into a dungeon. Link's equipment, like his shield for instance, will deteriorate over time, but can be repaired or even upgraded to increase durability. To do so however, the player needs to collect a set amount of money and seek out specific materials, requiring the player to complete multiple steps before relieving an upgraded shield. To improve equipment and progress to a more difficult section of the game, the player is best served to seek out the required goods before advancing to the next dungeon.

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